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Parity with Private Landlords

The ASSC recommends that the Scottish Government review whether licensing is the correct conduit to deliver the legislation most effectively. The ASSC suggests that there should be a review of how applications are handled in light of landlords registration, pivoting the licensing legislation to align with the Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004. This would satisfy the aims of the regulations, covering the safety of the activity and any antisocial behaviour.

Alternative methods have been explored and presented to the Scottish Government, but we consider this approach to be the most proportionate and effective given the Scottish Government’s position on these regulations.

Landlord’s Registration lasts for three years, mirroring exactly the health and safety aspect of the short-term let policies. A landlord receives notification that the registration is due for renewal and the application can be made online or on paper. 14 local authorities will only accept online applications for STL licences, which amounts to discrimination.

Renewals are not onerous or burdensome, requiring confirmation that a landlord continues to comply with the statutory guidance, which covers the same health and safety requirements of the short-term let licence. There is no requirement for layout or site plans showing fire protection etc, maximum occupancy or additional conditions. The cost across Scotland is £68 for principal owner plus £16 per property (plus £137 for late application). This is considered to be proportionate, targeted and appropriate, and the small accommodation sector would welcome this regulation.

The Scottish Government’s BRIA stated that STL fees were meant to fall within a bracket of £214-£436 for a three-year licence, based on the principle of cost recovery.

However, we note that the following councils have fees that are higher than the Scottish Government’s expectations: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Argyll and Bute, City of Edinburgh, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Highland, Midlothian, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, and West Dunbartonshire.For instance, for City of Edinburgh Council it is up to a maximum of £5,869 for secondary letting and £1,130 within Argyll and Bute Council for secondary lets.

  • How can the Scottish Government be sure that licensing authorities can demonstrate that they are compliant with the legislative directive to be charging fees on a cost recovery basis?
  • How can it cost £84 to administer private landlord registration, yet the same process seeminly costs £5,869 per annum in Edinburgh?

This is not parity. It is discrimination.

Evidence to LGHP Committee January 2023


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